Living With Phelps
One of the worst things to have to put up with is living in the same town as Fred Phelps. Every Sunday, when I try to go to my church, Phelps is outside picketing, saying we're "****" and that we're going to hell. He pickets and harasses anyone who disagrees with him. A great majority of my friends have had parents picketed by Phelps. He has harassed teachers to the point of running them out of town. He is the modern-day equivalent of a mob with torches and pitchforks.
I grieve for his family, and for the children born into his family. 3-year-old children are made to hold up signs condemning people for their sexualities; they're taught to yell "You're going to hell!" at people passing by. His own daughter was cast out for marrying someone he didn't approve of. His family/church members employ the most horrible forms of corporal punishment on their children. For example, I went to school with many of the Phelps kids. One boy bit his sister, and her mother forced her to bite him back so hard that she almost bit into his bone. He should have gotten stitches, but since it was his punishment, he wasn't allowed to. Their kids can't celebrate any holidays, and are usually ridiculed by their classmates.
I could go on for days about everything that's wrong with their "church" (read: cult). I don't understand why people can't just let other people live their lives. It's not like gay people or people who don't follow the bible word-for-word are hurting the Phelps' in any way.